Following are my photos from Thórsmörk National Park and surrounding areas in the south.
This is our group (except me, behind the camera) atop Markarfljótsgljúfur, with our guides in blue and red windbreakers in the front.
Most of the terrain we covered is rock from the volcanoes, with colorful herbs and moss growing on and between the rocks. Hillsides appear green or red, depending on which plants are more prominent.
One of the people from our group photographing an old wrecked ship on Landeyjahöfn black beach.
Click here for a Youtube video four-wheeling on the beach.
This is Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, or E15, it's nickname because it starts with an E and has fifteen letters. Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, interrupting air travel to Europe for five days. When we were there, we struggled to get close to the glacier in sixty mile-per-hour prevailing winds. It is difficult to describe why that would make a person feel great, but it does. When the sun broke through the clouds, we got rainbows that followed us for the next three days.
On the Road
Our guides picked us up at Hótel Fljotshlid in rugged 4WD vehicles capable of heavy off-roading and river crossings. I recommend the company we went with, South Iceland Adventure.
The guides know how to cross the rivers, which rise and fall, and swing wildly, depending on the amount of rainfall in the previous few hours. You will need to cross at least ten to twenty rivers to get out to see the territory documented in these photos.
Our guide, Sigurdur Bjarni "Siggi" Sveinsson, is throwing rocks in the river to gauge the speed and depth of the water. He grew up in the south and began testing the rivers as a youngster, under the direction of his grandfather.
The weather is unpredictable in Iceland, but the guides will customize your tour to suit the weather conditions on the days you visit. South Iceland Adventure gives tours all year round.
Log onto Youtube to see the 4WD vehicles crossing the rivers!
Inside Thórsmörk National Park the best place to stay overnight is the Volcano Huts in Húsadalur. You can see the buildings there in the center of the landscape. Hostels may not be the Ritz, but you will get a good night's rest, and be ready for more trekking first thing in the morning. Count on a 10 a.m. departure. Meals are served in the Volcano Huts lodge. Photo courtesy of Siggi Sveinsson.*
Retreat Center in the South
On the way to Thórsmörk National Park, we spent a night at Hotel Fljótshlid.
Views around the Hotel Fljótshlid grounds.